Total Daily Energy Expenditure: Pt 1

Daily Caloric Intake for Gaining or Losing Weight

It can feel daunting trying to figure out the fitness goals that you want to hit. Especially when you have set numbers you are trying to hit every week, breaking that down into day by day amounts can seem difficult and arbitrary. But with a couple tweaks to your diet and having an actual number of calories to eat a day, you can figure out how much you need to be eating every day to lose or gain weight. There are ways that you can calculate what that daily number is, using what is called a TDEE calculator. Basically it takes the amount of food you are eating a day, how much you weigh, your total activity, and then calculates how much or how little calories you need to eat to gain or lose weight. But there is a little bit more that goes into it than that.

If you are looking to lose weight, then at its most simple it is eating less calories each day than you use, barring any diagnosed medical conditions that impede your body’s natural ability to reduce your weight. There is a huge amount of varying ways in which you can go about consuming those fewer calories, and using more calories/burning more fat in a day. But we will not be going in-depth into your diet or you exercise routine in this article. We will be going over breaking your goals into actual steps and being able to measure the number of calories you can consume a day when taking into account physical traits and amount of exercise you do in a week.

Calculating calories

You can use any calculator, but this one is built on a bootstrap frame and does not ask for any personal information to get your results, which you should be weary of. For example, someone who is 180 pounds, 6 feet tall and 30 years old and works out 1-3 times a week, needs 2,495 calories per day to maintain the same weight. That same person who does not work out only needs 2,177 calories per day to not lose or gain weight, however. You can be a “healthy” weight but still live unhealthy.

It doesn’t matter quite as much where you get your calories from (i.e. 2000 calories of rice vs 1,000 calories of rice and 1,000 calories of chicken, or 1,000 calories of rice and 1,000 calories of M&M’s) if you only care about staying the same weight or just losing or gaining a certain number of pounds. But just because you can change your weight does not mean that is the best course of action over the long run. It is important to have a well-balanced diet (which definitely sounds like something from a 1980s breakfast commercial).

In our next article we will be going over gaining and losing weight using the TDEE, some of the differences in diets, how to define exercises, and some of the potential pitfalls in TDEE calculators.

TDEE Calculator link:

Posted in Nutrition.